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Rogaining and Orienteering ©

Rogaining and Orienteering ©
By Hesham Ayad
ExerciseNow supports clubs/groups that offer Rogaining and Orienteering that helps people from different backgrounds, genders and ages to enjoy exercising the mind and body.

Rogaining and Orienteering are enjoyable and stimulating sports that are geared towards being in the bush or suburban surroundings using one’s navigation skills to move around. Both these sports are similar to cross country running and bush-walking while challenging yourself and having fun.

The aim in both rogaining and orienteering is to find the checkpoints that are marked on a map as quickly as possible. The map is handed out to competitors at the start of the event, and checkpoints are marked with a white and orange flag. When you find a checkpoint after carefully planning and navigating, you use the manual or electronic puncher hanging off the checkpoint to mark it on your control card or electronic timing device. Then you make your way to the next checkpoint or you can decide to make your way to the finish line.

There are some differences between rogaining and orienteering. Rogaining was developed as a sport in Melbourne Australia in the early 1970’s but, 24-hour walks had been held since 1947 by the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club. The word ROGAINE was coined from: ROd, GAIl and NEil, the three people in Australia who developed the first ROGAINE.

Rogaining is a sport of long distance cross country navigation. In contrast to orienteering, rogaining is a team sport with 2-5 people per team. There is no given order to the checkpoints; instead, every checkpoint gives a number of points. The task is to get as many points as possible within a given time limit. Rogaining events usually last for 6, 8, 12 or 24 hours.

Challenges in rogaining are not only to find checkpoints, but also to plan a course that collects the most points and make it back to the finish on time and every minute late costs valuable points. Teams can take it as hard or as easy as they want with teams ranging from families going for a few short walks to nearby checkpoints in between meals and sleeping, to experienced teams that race off for the night and make it back after 24 hours.

On the other hand the history of Orienteering begins in the late 19th century in Sweden. The actual term “Orientering” was the original Swedish name for “Orienteering”. The word “Orientation” was first used in 1886 and means ‘the crossing of the unknown land with the aid of a map and compass”. Orienteering is a more competitive sport with checkpoints that has to be visited in a specified order. The fastest competitor to visit all checkpoints in the right order and return to the finish wins. Orienteering events typically last for 1 to 3 hours but sometimes last for longer.

Orienteering sports combine significant navigation with a specific method of travel and there is a variety of Orienteering sports such as Canoe orienteering, Car orienteering, Foot orienteering, Mountain bike orienteering, Mountain marathon, Mounted orienteering, Radio orienteering, Ski-orienteering, Sport Labyrinth – micro orienteering and Trail orienteering. Because the method of event determines the needed equipment and tactics, each sport requires specific rules for competition and guidelines for orienteering event logistics and course design.

Overall both these sports challenge the mind and body to be independent and dependent on others, and are suitable for all backgrounds, ages and genders, where groups can get together to have fun and make new friends.
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It's an amazing sport! Haven't tried it yet, although will soon. Thanks Hesham for sharing.
  • November 7, 2015
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Hesham Ayad
Thank you!
  • November 9, 2015
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